US CDC recommends older Americans should get another COVID shot this spring

By Thomson Reuters Feb 28, 2024 | 4:52 PM

(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director on Wednesday signed off on the use of updated COVID vaccines as a second annual shot for adults aged 65 and older.

The final recommendation from director Mandy Cohen comes after an expert advisory group to the CDC on Wednesday said U.S. adults aged 65 and older should get a second annual COVID-19 shot this spring, strengthening their recommendations from last year.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee For Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 11-1 to say that older Americans should get another shot this spring, according to the agency.

Last year, the committee only recommended an optional additional dose for the age group.

“Most COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations last year were among people 65 years and older. An additional vaccine dose can provide added protection that may have decreased over time for those at highest risk,” said Cohen.

Adults aged 65 years and older are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with more than half of COVID-19 hospitalizations during October 2023 to December 2023 occurring in this age group, the CDC said.

According to CDC estimates, around 22% of adults in the United States have received the COVID vaccine that was updated for the 2023-24 vaccination season, including close to 42% of those aged 65 or older.

(Reporting by Michael Erman in New York and Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Maju Samuel)